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Study Consent Form

You are invited to participate in a research study entitled Survey of Canadian Students with Disabilities in Post-secondary Education. This study has been reviewed the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Research Ethics Board 14881 and originally approved on June 7, 2018. Please read this consent form carefully, and feel free to ask the Researcher any questions that you might have about the study. If you have any questions about your rights as a participant in this study, please contact the Research Ethics Coordinator at 905-721-8668 ext. 3693 or

Researcher(s): Dr. Sue Coffey, Principal Investigator, Nursing, UOIT, sue.coffey@uoit.caDr. Mahadeo Sukhai, Principal Investigator, National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS),
External Funder/Sponsor: Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT); Government of Canada Social Development Partnerships Program (SDPP-D)

Purpose and Procedure:                                                     
This study has two major aims: 1) to examine the current landscape of accessibility, services, accommodations, technical equipment and supports for students with disabilities at publicly-funded postsecondary institutions across Canada; and 2) to explore college-university transfer experiences of PSE students/graduates with disabilities in Ontario and nationally.

Participation in the study involves completing an online survey that consists of two components: the basic survey (funded by the Government of Canada Social Development Partnerships Program (SDPP-D)) that asks questions about you, your educational history, and your experiences in post-secondary education; and a college and university transfer component (funded by the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT)) that asks questions related to transferring between college and university. Together, the two parts will take approximately 40-55 minutes to complete.
Potential Benefits:
Potential benefits to you may include satisfaction from contributing to knowledge development. You may also find that completing the survey is informative/educational. We cannot, however, guarantee that you will have any direct personal benefits from participating.

At a broad level, your participation in this study may contribute to policy development related to people with disabilities such as informing the Government of Canada’s consultation on a new federal disability act.

Potential Risk or Discomforts:
The risk associated with this study is no greater than everyday life.  It is possible that some of the questions may cause upset or discomfort. Because of this, you may choose to skip questions. You can also choose not to participate at any time before submitting the survey by navigating away from the web-page or closing the tab/browser. Your responses will not be saved.

Collection, Use, and Storage of Data:
We use an online tool called SurveyGizmo to collect data. The use of SurveyGizmo involves uploaded information to a server located in Canada. Data on SurveyGizmo is in full compliance and security under Canadian law. The data exists completely separately from American data and European data.

To analyze that data, it will downloaded from the SurveyGizmo server and stored on an encrypted data storage device that is under lock and key. We will combine all of the responses we receive, analyze them together, and report them in a summarized format. The responses that we collect from you or any other participants will never be reported individually. Our summarized findings will be share through reports, presentations, and publications in peer-reviewed journals. A report on the findings will also be posted on the NEADS website ( If you wish to be notified of the report release, please email

Any information you provide us as part of the survey is anonymous. The study survey does not collect personally identifying information such as your name, email address, and IP address.

There are incentives associate with this study (a prize draw and gift certificates). Participants who would like to be included in the draw or receive a gift certificate must provide personally identifying information (i.e., any email address you wish to provide). The email address you provide will in no way be connected to the survey you submitted. Only the study PI and research coordinator will have access to the email addresses collected and will be responsible for drawing prizes and contacting participants to receive their prizes and gift certificates through the email account they provide. Once prizes and gift certificates have been distributed, all email addresses will be permanently deleted from the SurveyGizmo server.

Your privacy shall be respected. No information about your identity will be shared or published without your permission, unless required by law. Confidentiality will be provided to the fullest extent possible by law, professional practice, and ethical codes of conduct. Please note that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed while data are in transit over the Internet.

The Principal Investigator may use the study information and share it with its community and academic partners who have an interest in the study and research question of interest.

Right to Withdraw:
Your participation is voluntary, and you can answer only those questions that you are comfortable with answering. The information that is shared will be held in strict confidence and discussed only with the research team.

If you do not wish to participate, simply do not start the survey questionnaire. If you start the survey and decide you no longer want to participate, do not submit your responses and close the browser tab. You are  not required to provide any explanation for why you choose not to participate. However, once you’ve submitted your survey response, we will not be able to withdraw these because we cannot link survey responses back to you.

You will not receive payment for your participation in this survey.  However, when you complete and submit the basic survey, you will have the opportunity to enter into a draw to win 1 of 5-$100 VISA gift card prizes. As well, the first 60 participants who complete the college-university transfer component of the study are eligible to receive a $20 gift card from Chapters/Indigo. In both cases, you will be required to provide an email address.

 Please note that the email address you provide will in no way be connected to the survey you submit and only the PI and research coordinator of the study will have access to the email addresses.

Participant Concerns and Reporting:
If you have any questions concerning the research study or experience any discomfort related to the study, please contact the researcher Dr. Sue Coffey at 905-721-8668 ext. 6509 or
Any questions regarding your rights as a participant, complaints or adverse events may be addressed to Research Ethics Board through the Research Ethics Coordinator – or 905-721-8668 ext. 3693.

By consenting, you do not waive any rights to legal recourse in the event of research-related harm.

Consent to Participate:
  1. I have read the consent form and understand the study being described.
  2. I have had an opportunity to ask questions and my questions have been answered.  I am free to ask questions about the study in the future.
  3. I freely consent to participate in the research study, understanding that I may discontinue participation at any time without penalty. A copy of this Consent Form has been made available to me.
By clicking the “Continue” button below, you agree with the above statements